You start your holiday shopping early, why not the home buying process?
There is nothing worse than being unprepared days before the holidays, when stores are packed, shelves are empty, online inventory is depleted, the items on your wish list are scarce and you are forced to overspend.
If you are a smart shopper, before making those holiday purchases you review your budget (to see how much you can actually spend), examine the inventory online, make note of prices and keep an eye on price changes, run down the wish list, and look at comparables.
The same goes for home buying. It’s never too early to start the process. It’s smart to weigh the benefits and be prepared.
The first questions you often ask yourself: “Can I afford it?” AND “Am I mortgage worthy?”
It’s best to know your options before assuming you can’t qualify for a mortgage. Countless studies have shown that potential buyers and even current homeowners have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage.
According to the FICO Score Distribution of all closed loans in August from Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report, “Over 50% of all approved loans had a FICO Score under 750.” Many home buyers believe they need a score of over 780 to qualify, but in reality that is not the case.
Today’s historic low interest rates can increase your purchasing power. Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey states that, “interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 3.47%. Rates have remained at or below 3.5% each of the last 16 weeks, marking a historic low.”
The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease. So it’s important to start weighing your options.
Consult with your Realtor even if you are a year out from your purchase. You will be better educated about the buying process and what you can afford. If you do have a lower credit score there may be some things you can do to get a lower interest rate. It is never too early to start the process of buying, there are only benefits.